When I take the prisoners swimming/They have the time of their lives/I love to watch them floating. As his song "River Guard" suggests, Bill Callahan is one weird dude. But the brains behind Smog has employed his wry sense of humor to great effect over the course of a 16-year partnership with Drag City records. Whereas Callahan's early, lo-fi recordings were cryptic and lazily recorded, recent efforts such as Woke on a Whaleheart sport rich tapestries of folk and gospel-tinged songcraft with arrangements stately enough to make Donovan giggle. And that deadpan baritone is still one of the best voices around.
I Feel Like the Mother of the World by Smog (Bill Callahan)